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Councillors in standoff with Officers over shop plans.

Home / Blog / Councillors in standoff with Officers over shop plans.
11
Oct
Cllr Mike Baldock

Tensions have arisen following the planning committee’s refusal of planning permission for the last plot of land on the Great Easthall estate because it did not include a shop.

The developer, Trenport Investments has applied to build up to 33 houses on the plot which was originally designated for community facilities such as a shop, but the developer suggests that such an enterprise would not be viable.

Officers agreed with the developer and recommended that the plans be approved but the planning committee didn’t agree and ultimately, they ran out of time to determine the plans resulting in an appeal by the developer.

Members of the planning committee who have been highly critical of the lack of a shop, suggest that it would be detrimental to social well-being of residents and that there is a demand for a shop.

However, planning officer Emma Eisinger has taken the rather unusual step of writing to the planning inspectorate ahead of the appeal hearing to confirm that the council will not lend any support during the hearing, advising

"Officers of the Council will not be sustaining or presenting the case for the refusal of the appeal scheme."

"We will not be providing an expert retail witness at the Inquiry and a planning officer would be present to deal only with potential conditions and the s.106 obligation."

"should Members of the Planning Committee decide to sustain the reason for refusal, they will be expected to represent the Council’s case for refusal without Officer support."

Whether, members of the planning committee will concede defeat and agree with Officers will be found out tonight when they report back to the planning committee.

Cllr Mike Baldock says “I was surprised to learn that Officers would not be supporting our case as the committee was quite clear that we wanted a shop.”

“Under such circumstances I start to question what the point of the planning committee is other than some form of democratic dressing.”

Andy Hudson
Sittingbourne.Me





Comments

Showing comments 1 to 4 of 4

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l back up last comment , my mother had plans stating all the lovely shops etc plus a mother way out of the estate, how can you let so many residents down. How many would have bought there house if they could look into the end result.
Comment by D Aldred on 15 Oct 2017
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The Officers of the council don’t like the Planning committee members to vote against their recommendations and when they do, and it results in an appeal, the officers do very little to fight the appeal. I see it as a stick to beat the planning committee for having the audacity to vote against them. It happened with a turbine application last year and the appeal was lost. Keep watching and you will see four more turbines pop up on our island.
Comment by Jill Haynes on 15 Oct 2017
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Before this estate was built my son who lives in Oak Rd and other neighbours received letters stating that there would be a shop and Doctors surgery built as well as houses. So what happened then 
Comment by Yvonne Bevis on 13 Oct 2017
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Too many developers has been getting away without completing their obligations. The s106 is a very robust system that calculates the impact any development might have on the local facilities such as doctors, shops, schools etc and it's an effective way of making certain that for every development there are adequate provisions made. If more councillors stood up to this then we wouldn't have the school place crisis or doctors spaces we now have. I applaud the efforts of the councillors who are making a valuable stand for their local community.
Comment by Lee Turner on 11 Oct 2017
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